How To Add Tadpoles To Your Pond

If you’d like to add tadpoles to your garden pond, there are a few things you need to do first to get your pond ready.

In this article I’ll show you how to prepare your pond for tadpoles, how to safely introduce tadpoles to your pond and help them grow into healthy frogs.

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Preparing your backyard pond for tadpoles

Tadpoles are cold-blooded animals, so the temperature of your pond will greatly influence their growth and health.

The ideal water temperature for tadpole growth is between 9-15C/48-59F.

Temperatures below 7C / 44F can cause harm or kill off your tadpoles.

If you’ve purchased tadpoles and the water temperature is still cool, you can place a small floating heater in your pond to raise the temperature of your pond by 3-5 degrees.

Pond water

It’s best to use rain water to fill your pond if possible but tap water can be treated to make it safe for tadpoles.

If you’ve just filled up your pond with tap water, you’ll need to let the water sit for a few days to allow the chlorine to dissipate.

If you don’t want to wait, you can also use chlorine neutralizer to remove the chlorine.

Be sure to top up your pond regularly during hot weather because if the water evaporates your tadpoles will die.

Purchasing tadpoles

Always purchase tadpoles from a reputable source and check carefully to make sure they look healthy before you purchase them.

Don’t catch tadpoles from local creeks or waterways because they may be endangered species.

tadpoles in a pond

How many tadpoles to add to your pond?

The number of tadpoles you need will depend on the size of your pond and how much room there is for them to grow.

In most cases about 20 will do nicely, but you can get away with adding more if you have a large pond.

The best time to add new tadpoles to a pond is late spring or early summer when the temperature is warm but not too hot.

Once you’ve purchased your tadpoles, place the bag on the surface of the pond for around 30 minutes to allow the water in the the bag to adjust to the same temperature as the pond.

Choose a shaded area of the pond, so that they don’t overheat.

Open the bag to allow some of the pond water to mix with the water in the bag.

Then it’s time to release the tadpoles into the pond.

Over the next few days, keep an eye on the tadpoles to make sure they’re settling in well.

Feeding tadpoles

Tadpoles feed on algae and plant matter so make sure you have plenty of plants growing in your pond.

Duckweed is a good food source for tadpoles or you can feed them a small amount of leafy green vegetables like lettuce or baby spinach.

You can also supplement their diets with an algae-based fish food if you don’t have many pond plants.

Make sure all the food is gone before you give feed them again, otherwise the water quality will deteriorate.

tadpole eating a flower

Protecting your tadpoles from predators

Tadpoles are easy prey for predators including dragonfly larvae, birds and snakes, so it’s important to provide a place for tadpoles to hide.

Adding a variety of floating pond plants like duckweed, water hyacinths and water lettuce will provide shade and hiding spots for the tadpoles, while still allowing sun to reach the pond.

Growing frogs from tadpoles

Tadpoles can metamorphose into either froglets or toadlets depending on the species.

This process takes around 14 weeks, so it’s important to make sure your tadpoles have plenty of food and a warm pond during this time.

Once tadpoles lose their legs they change from vegetarian to carnivore, eating mosquito larvae, flies and other small insects.

frog in a pond


So there are my tips for adding tadpoles to your backyard pond.

With the right conditions and care, your tadpoles will turn into frogs that will live happily around your pond.

Have you tried adding tadpoles to your garden pond? Let me know in the comments below.

Are you on Pinterest? I have boards dedicated to Backyard Ponds and Water Gardens that you may enjoy.

adding tadpoles to a pond

Kelly Martin

Hi, I'm Kelly Martin. I'm passionate about gardening and horticulture, especially water gardens. I've been gardening most of my life and I created this blog to inspire gardeners to create their own water garden at home. Read more

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Louise C Callaghan

    I ‘adopted’ about 100 hundred tadpoles from a ditch by the side of a bohereen on the Wicklow Way 2 months ago. My Pond is new, but already suitably acclimatised with rain water. The tadpoles are thriving, not sure on what, leaf-mould, particles in among the granite edging… My real concern – will they be able to climb/hop out at the edge – when the time comes?

    1. Kelly Martin

      Hi Louise, that’s so nice that you saved the tadpoles! If your pond has deep sides you might need to create a ramp to help them get out of the pond. You could use a piece of timber or a tree branch to make the ramp.

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